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The Amorite Dynasty of Ugarit

Historical Implications of Linguistic and Archaeological Parallels


Mary E. Buck

In The Amorite Dynasty of Ugarit Mary Buck takes a new approach to the field of Amorite studies by considering whether the site of Ugarit shares close parallels with other sites and cultures known from the Bronze Age Levant. When viewed in conjunction, the archaeological and linguistic material uncovered in this study serves to enhance our understanding of the historical complexity and diversity of the Middle Bronze Age period of international relations at the site of Ugarit.

With a deft hand, Dr. Buck pursues a nuanced view of populations in the Bronze Age Levant, with the objective of understanding the ancient polity of Ugarit as a kin-based culture that shares close ties with the Amorite populations of the Levant.

The Studies in the Archaeology and History of the Levant series publishes volumes from the Harvard Semitic Museum. Other series offered by Brill that publish volumes from the Museum include Harvard Semitic Studies and Harvard Semitic Monographs,


Angus E. Dalrymple-Smith

Commercial Transitions and Abolition in West Africa 1630–1860 by Angus Dalrymple-smith offers a fresh perspective on why the most important West African states and merchants who traded with Atlantic markets became exporters of commodities instead of slaves in the nineteenth century. This study takes a long-term comparative approach and makes of use of new quantitative data.

It argues that the timing and nature of the change from slave exports to so-called ‘legitimate commerce’ in the Gold Coast, the Bight of Biafra and the Bight of Benin, can be predicted by patterns of trade established in previous centuries by a range of African and European actors responding to the changing political and economic environments of the Atlantic world.


Serawit Bekele Debele

In Locating Politics in Ethiopia's Irreecha Ritual Serawit Bekele Debele gives an account of politics and political processes in contemporary Ethiopia as manifested in the annual ritual performance. Mobilizing various sources such as archives, oral accounts, conversations, videos, newspapers, and personal observations, Debele critically analyses political processes and how they are experienced, made sense of and articulated across generational, educational, religious, gender and ethnic differences as well as political persuasions. Moreover, she engages Irreecha in relation to the hugely contested meaning making processes attached to the Thanksgiving ritual which has now become an integral part of Oromo national identity.

Roads Through Mwinilunga

A History of Social Change in Northwest Zambia


Iva Peša

Roads through Mwinilunga provides a historical appraisal of social change in Northwest Zambia from 1750 until the present. By looking at agricultural production, mobility, consumption, and settlement patterns, existing explanations of social change are reassessed. Using a wide range of archival and oral history sources, Iva Peša shows the relevance of Mwinilunga to broader processes of colonialism, capitalism, and globalisation. Through a focus on daily life, this book complicates transitions from subsistence to market production and dichotomies between tradition and modernity. Roads through Mwinilunga is a crucial addition to debates on historical and social change in Central Africa.


Edited by Dustin J. Byrd and Seyed Javad Miri

In Frantz Fanon and Emancipatory Social Theory: A View from the Wretched, Dustin J. Byrd and Seyed Javad Miri bring together a collection of essays by a variety of scholars who explore the lasting influence of Frantz Fanon, psychiatrist, revolutionary, and social theorist. Fanon’s work not only gave voice to the “wretched” in the Algerian War of Independence (1954-1962), but also shaped the radical resistance to colonialism, empire, and racism throughout much of the world. His seminal works, such as Black Skin, White Masks, and The Wretched of the Earth, were read by The Black Panther Party in the United States, anti-imperialists in Africa and Asia, and anti-monarchist revolutionaries in the Middle East. Today, many revolutionaries and scholars have returned to Fanon’s work, as it continues to shed light on the nature of colonial domination, racism, and class oppression.

Contributors include: Syed Farid Alatas, Rose Brewer, Dustin J. Byrd, Sean Chabot, Richard Curtis, Nigel C. Gibson, Ali Harfouch, Timothy Kerswell, Seyed Javad Miri, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Pramod K. Nayar, Elena Flores Ruíz, Majid Sharifi, Mohamed Imran Mohamed Taib and Esmaeil Zeiny.


Hans Olsson

In Jesus for Zanzibar: Narratives of Pentecostal (Non-)Belonging, Islam, and Nation Hans Olsson offers an ethnographic account of the lived experience and socio-political significance of newly arriving Pentecostal Christians in the Muslim majority setting of Zanzibar. This work analyzes how a disputed political partnership between Zanzibar and Mainland Tanzania intersects with the construction of religious identities.

Undertaken at a time of political tensions, the case study of Zanzibar’s largest Pentecostal church, the City Christian Center, outlines religious belonging as relationally filtered in-between experiences of social insecurity, altered minority / majority positions, and spiritual powers. Hans Olsson shows that Pentecostal Christianity, as a signifier of (un)wanted social change, exemplifies contested processes of becoming in Zanzibar that capitalizes on, and creates meaning out of, religious difference and ambient political tensions.


Edited by Burkhard Schnepel and Tansen Sen

Travelling Pasts, edited by Burkhard Schnepel and Tansen Sen, offers an innovative exploration of the issue of heritage in the Indian Ocean world. This collection of essays demonstrates how the heritagization of the past has played a vital role in processes and strategies related to the making of socio-cultural identities, the establishing of political legitimacies, and the pursuit of economic and geopolitical gains. The contributions range from those dealing with the impact of UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention in the Indian Ocean world as a whole to those that address the politics of cultural heritage in various distinct maritime sites such as Zanzibar, Mayotte, Cape Town, the Maldives, Calcutta and Penang. Also examined are the Maritime Silk Road and the Project Mausam initiatives of the Chinese and Indian governments respectively. The volume is an important contribution to the transdisciplinary fields on Indian Ocean Studies.


Nigel Worden


This chapter examines the ambiguities that exist in the ways in which Cape Town’s Indian Ocean heritage is publically perceived and how this is presented in museums, exhibitions and monuments. It argues that this is a reflection of Cape Town’s ambiguous political and cultural position within the ‘new South Africa’. The chapter focuses on two case studies, one on the representation of Islam, the other on that of slavery. In the case of Islam a strong invented tradition produced the racial and cultural category of ‘Malay’ in the apartheid era, a tradition that presented Islam as an exotic import from the Dutch East Indies brought by aristocratic exiles and religious leaders, but neglecting the role played by slaves and others within the town. Public commemoration of slavery in museums and monuments has only emerged since the advent of democracy in 1994, its aim being to depict its diverse geographical and cultural Indian Ocean roots more broadly. However, the association of slavery with Islam and Southeast Asia remains strong, and a broader Indian Ocean, and especially African, context is contested.


Abdul Sheriff


Zanzibar Town developed from its Swahili roots based on its stone-building technology and its social and cultural practices. It was cosmopolitan because of its interactions across the Indian Ocean. During the nineteenth century it incorporated newer Omani and Indian influences, and British colonialism made its own contribution to constitute a unique architectural ensemble. However, the British also divided the Old Town on the peninsula from the Native Quarter developing on ‘the Other Side’ of the Creek. The Zanzibar Revolution in 1964 turned the tables on the Old Town, with the large-scale nationalization of houses and the social transformation of the urban population. Conservation of the Old Town became a burning issue from the mid-1980s. However, the process of heritagization involved a number of contradictory forces, raising questions regarding whose heritage, why it should be preserved, what criteria should be used and whether UNESCO is right in insisting on its ‘Outstanding Universal Value’.


Christoph Brumann


The UNESCO World Heritage Convention of 1972 is often regarded as a success, and a place on the World Heritage List, with its now more than one thousand entries, has become a major global distinction, encouraging tourism, self-esteem, investments and conservation efforts. Charges of Eurocentrism in site selection have led to a greater emphasis on everyday heritage and long-distance cultural exchanges. The chapter analyses how this has affected World Heritage properties in and around the Indian Ocean and their official justifications for listing. Early inscriptions did not pay much attention to the ocean, whereas the ‘Global Strategy’ of 1994 has clearly encouraged a greater emphasis on links, migration, and cultural fusion. World Heritage properties connected with slavery and indentured labour have made their debut too. However, not all candidate sites use the ocean to the degree they could, and the potential for celebrating Indian Ocean connectivity through World Heritage is far from being exhausted.